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Blame The Economy? Some Snazzy NYC Hotels To Eliminate Room Service

City's Largest, The Hilton Midtown, Doing Away With Ultimate Creature Comfort

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s one of the luxuries of staying in a hotel — room service. But the days of delivery could be numbered for all of us.

As CBS 2’s Don Champion reported Monday, a big hotel in New York City is leading the pack in cutting the service.

Hollywood shows the joy of lounging in luxury in numerous films, but the days of room service are numbered. The city’s largest hotel, the New York Hilton Midtown, is getting rid of it.

“You want to feel like you’re taken care of,” hotel guest Rhea Newman said.

Newman and her friends are staying at the Hilton Midtown in a few weeks, but they’ll be out of luck getting food delivered to their room.

“We had room service last night at 1 o’clock in the morning. It was great pizza and they came and set it all up. It was wonderful,” Newman said.

The hotel will now offer an alternative “Herb n’ Kitchen” with “on the go foods” for people to pick up – a far cry from the old norm.

“Don’t have to get dressed; don’t have to go downstairs, especially if you’re jet lagged or tired. It’s very easy,” hotel guest Andreas Gauger said of room service.

Melissa from Dallas, who was staying at the Midtown Hilton Monday, said room service may not be necessary in New York City. But she said it is great if you have a big family.

“Sometimes it’s just convenient, because everybody is on a different schedule, trying to get everybody ready for the morning,” she told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.

But a Colorado couple told Rincon room service is necessary in a hotel, particularly if a guest gets sick and cannot get around.

Reportedly, 55 people will lose their jobs, but in a statement a Hilton representative said, “The staffing needs of this new concept are still being evaluated. We are committed to placing qualified employees in alternate positions within the hotel, where possible.”

Scott Berman is a partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers.

“The food and beverage side of the business is the most difficult — the most difficult to make money, most difficult to please customers,” Berman said.

Berman also said labor costs make it expensive for a hotel, adding the change is proof of how the industry is finding new footing after a downturn.

“Hotels are owned by individuals and investors who want to see a return and you have to change with the marketplace and the economic times,” Berman said.

The Hilton Midtown is not alone in ditching room service. Other hotel chains, including the Doubletree, are trying out similar concepts. The new “Herb n’ Kitchen” opens later in the summer.

Hilton said the move will also allow the hotel to offer more food options. CBS 2’s Champion checked and eligible employees who lose their job because of the change will be given severance options.

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